Subject: Third grant awarded! Countdown to the vote
From: "Masino, Susan A."
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 23:47:38 -0500



Grant awarded!


This week the Ethel Walker project received the third open space grant from the State of Connecticut.  The award was $450,000, the maximum in this grant category.  Open space monies are limited and there is a lot of competition.  Being awarded three grants thus far, and now the maximum amount for this grant, attests to the importance and resource value of this land.  Our legislators are working hard to secure additional state funds and a special state appropriation for this project, with the goal of a 1:1 match between state and town funds for this project.  Every dollar of state and federal money lowers the bill to the Town of Simsbury.


Read about the grant award and statements from our Town Engineer and Selectmen in a recent article in the Courant.,0,4138182.story  


In recent weeks an opposition group has formed and, among other things, has been claiming that there are already 500 houses “on the aquifer”.  Not true.  They may have gotten this number from a DEP “Level B” map – a mapping that is NOT related to the topography of the watershed, the aquifer, or the recharge area.  The area of “greatest transmissivity” has fewer than 15 houses on it, maybe even fewer than 10, and none are near the well heads themselves.  The development would add another 22-28, effectively right near the wells.  


According to our Town Engineer, the primary recharge (“high transmissivity”) has 70 and this development would add another 48.  Development in these sensitive areas DOES pose a significant risk.  The DEP and DPH and other agencies ARE concerned with development over the primary recharge area of an aquifer BUT THERE ARE NO REGULATIONS TO PREVENT RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT ON PRIVATLEY OWNED LAND.  On average, 75-100 contaminated drinking water supply wells are identified every year in Connecticut.  At least one aquifer in Simsbury is ALREADY contaminated, and at least one other one is at a significant risk due to land use above the aquifer.  


We are still getting out information before the election, so if you know any undecided voters or citizens with questions, let them know about an informational drop-in session at Eno Hall tomorrow from 10 AM to 2PM.  All materials that were presented by the Town of Simsbury at the Special Town Meeting on October 17th will be available, as well as overview maps, trail maps and detailed information about the features of the property and the aquifer.  If you or others can’t make it, call Howard Beach 658-3240 or Melissa Spear at 203-777-7367 with any final questions.


FINALLY - DON’T MISS THE ELECTION NIGHT GET TOGETHER!!  Election day gathering after the polls close will be at Antonio’s / Hoops and Hops on Hopmeadow.  Wind down and await the results!